Sonic Annotation: Stadler

Besides the visual implications of this video, listen closely to the lyrics and how they sound. Why did so many people take offense to this song? Beyoncé is celebrating black culture. Her voice is raw and unapologetic, and for a white audience that is accustomed to hearing her melodic voice, this version of Beyoncé’s music is provocative. Mainstream music is historically white, and Beyoncé tore that barrier down.

When looking at sound studies, human diversity must be discussed. Since I grew up in a relatively safe neighborhood (and honestly, since I’m white), I don’t feel fear when I hear police sirens.  The dichotomies that Stadler poses and identifies are not wholly unrealistic, as racial identity plays a large part in a person’s reaction to this sound. If we are to truly analyze the sonic branch of rhetoric, we must take demographics and personal experiences into context. Sound credit: goose278

When I think about the struggle between races, I hear a physical struggle with something. Racism is often thought of as an idea: an abstract thing that we can only fight through ideology. But racism, to those who experience it, is real and concrete. The study of sonic rhetoric has the chance to modify academic discourse because it allows us to look beyond the textual and visual elements of racism and examine inequality in other areas, such as radio and music. Sound credit: ScreenplayTheatre

The difference between hearing and listening is exemplified in this famous song by The Police. Many people listen to this song and hear a man talking about an ex-lover, but when actually listening, the song is quite sinister. This can sound especially sinister to anyone that has had experiences with stalking.


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